Croatan Conversation: ESG Assessments - Helpful, Harmful, or Irrelevant?

December 10th, 2021, 1:00-2:00PM 

Join Croatan Institute Senior Fellow Bill Harrington, Gillian Marcelle, PhD of Resilience Capital Ventures, LLC, Daniel Cash, PhD of Aston University and Fulbright Scholar at NYU Stern, and Dr. Chantal Naidoo, PhD of University of Sussex and Rabia Transitions Initiative for a wide-ranging conversation on what is and is not effective in how ESG investing is used to make long lasting improvements to natural and social systems.

How can ESG practitioners help leaders and allies develop robust systems-in-use?
How can there be more focus on all the elements E, S and G?
With “G”, how might we instill governance in their respective entities that starts, not stops, at adhering to all applicable laws?

Advocates for ESG finance claim that it operates to sustain communities everywhere, most notably by funding projects that address climate change and mitigate its impact on social systems. However, widespread concern with “greenwashing” suggests the opposite, namely that ESG finance operates primarily to protect the status and earnings of financial practitioners. Hear from panelists as they explore the following questions:

  • What durable improvements to natural and social systems has ESG finance produced?
  • Who drives implementation of improvements and who validates them?
  • Do third-party assessments such as ESG ratings help, impede, or have no role in evaluating the sustainability impact of a project, company, or government?
  • Should ESG ratings be discarded, standardized, or allowed to develop as they will?


  • Bill Harrington, Senior Fellow at Croatan Institute (Moderator)
  • Daniel Cash, PhD, Senior Lecturer at Aston University and Fulbright Scholar at NYU Stern School of Business
  • Gillian Marcelle, PhD, CEO and Founder at Resilience Capital Ventures LLC
  • Chantal Naidoo, University of Sussex and Founder and Executive Director at Rabia Transitions Initiative

**Join the Post-Conversation Q&A**

Join the speakers for a continuation of the Croatan Conversation in a separate zoom meeting after the webinar ends at 2:00pmET. Attendees will be able to ask questions live and participate in the discussion. You will receive a separate zoom link in your registration reminder emails. This link will also be shared live during the live Croatan Conversation.